I for Ink in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
I have three bottles of ink, by Windsor and Newton. Violet, Emerald and Silver. I have hardly used them, but I keep them. They are from my mother.
My mother was an artist and she also did crafts. She bought art supplies. When I was first married, my husband and I each bought a used gold chain. I started medical school and used the chain to put my rings on when I changed into scrubs for the operating room. Many people tied their rings to the scrub pants. At 2 am after a difficult surgery or delivery or cesarean section or premature baby or a trauma patient that did not survive: it’s easy to forget the rings. Lose them in the laundry. I hung my rings on the chain.
My sister told me that my mother complained about the chains. “Why would they spend money on something like that?” My sister replied, “What did you buy last weekend?” “Um,” said my mother, “Paper.” “Were you out of paper?” asked my sister, silkily. “No,” said my mother. She had enough paper for art for years, but she loved paper and art supplies and would buy good paper on sale. “De gustibus non est disputandumm.” said my sister. To each his or her own taste.
I have little caches of art supplies that my mother sent me. Beautiful ink. Beautiful paper. When I paint a watercolor postcard, it is in her style. She sculpted with clay, became a potter, did silk screens, etchings, watercolors, oils, pastels. She did crafts: glass beads. My sister did a glass bead class with her. They reported giggling that they had both made glass beads, quite hideously ugly. My mother bought the glass bead equipment. Woodcuts. Paper mache. She sewed costumes when we younger, though she didn’t like sewing very much. We both had japanese kimonos when we were little for Halloween. This stood out as too weird among our social group.
I have nibs somewhere, to dip in the inks. I have a fountain pen with an italics point. I have paper.
I look at the beautiful inks and remember my mother and my sister.